Amongst the major shows opening in London this week are:

OPENING TONIGHT, Monday 31 July 2006, (previews from 20 July), A Right Royal Farce, journalists-turned-playwrights Toby Young and Lloyd Evans’ latest comedy, premieres at north London’s King’s Head Theatre (See News, 6 Jul 2006). The duo are following up their Award-winning, David Blunkett-inspired Who's the Daddy? with the new sex farce about the royal family.

Set immediately after the Queen’s death, A Right Royal Farce envisages a future in which Prince Harry makes a bid to be crowned king. Far from being the dim-witted party boy of popular imagination, Harry turns out to be a brilliant Machiavellian operator who enlists the support of his gorgeous girlfriend in an elaborate plot to steal the throne. A Right Royal Farce has a limited six-week season to 28 August 2006. The cast, directed by Alan Cohen, includes Sara Crowe, Andrew C Wadsworth, William Hoyland and Tim Wallers.

OPENING WEDNESDAY, 2 August 2006 (previews from 26 July), Exiles, the only stage play by Irish novelist James Joyce, is revived at the National’s Cottesloe Theatre for a repertory run to 26 October 2006 (See News, 19 Apr 2006). James Macdonald’s production is the first time in 30 years the play has been staged. In 1914, during his long self-imposed exile from his native Ireland, Joyce wrote Exiles, between his classic novels Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man and Ulysses. It’s based in part on the author’s own relationship with Nora Barnacle. Back in Dublin after nine years abroad, Richard and Bertha have to confront two other people who love them and ask themselves questions about guilt and responsibility. Will infidelity hold them together?

OPENING FRIDAY, 4 August 2006, the National Youth Theatre’s Sextet, a cycle of six new plays by leading writers, opens at the Soho Theatre (See News, 13 Apr 2006). The six plays focus on a decade apiece since the 1950s, when the NYT was established. Previous Soho writer-on-attachment Rebecca Lenkiewicz wrote the 1950s section. Al Smith, Barrie Keefe, Amy Evans, Samuel Adamson and Stella Duffy bring the drama up to the present day. Sextet runs to 2 September 2006, as part of the NYT’s 50th anniversary celebrations (See News, 29 Mar 2006).

- by Caroline Ansdell